Thai parliament approves 16-bln-USD loan decree for COVID-19 fight hinh anh 1Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha defends the 500-billion-baht executive decree in Parliament on June 9 (Photo: VNA)
Bangkok (VNA) - The House of Representatives of Thailand on June 10 approved a decree allowing the government to borrow 500 billion THB (16 billion USD) for responding to the third infection wave of COVID-19.

The decree allows the Finance Ministry to raise 500 billion THB, but loan contracts must be signed by Sept 30, 2022, according to Finance Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith.

As planned, about 30 billion THB is earmarked to buy medical supplies, medicines and vaccines, and for research and development of vaccines.

Meanwhile, about 300 billion THB is allocated for funding relief schemes for people across various sectors. The rest will be for social and economic rehabilitation projects.

Termpittayapaisith said before the vote that the cash injection would help Thailand fulfill its target and the government would keep pubic debt at less than 60 percent of the country’s gross domestic product.

This is the second time the Thai government has been allowed to borrow money to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. Last year, it borrowed 1 trillion THB to ease the impact of the first wave of COVID-19.

According to Thailand's National Economic and Social Development Council (NESDC), the country's economic growth in the first quarter of 2021 fell by 2.6 percent year-on-year. The country's economic growth in 2021 is predicted to decrease by 1.5-2.5 percent from the previous projection of 2.5-3.5 percent./.